Showing posts with label President Rody Duterte. Show all posts
Showing posts with label President Rody Duterte. Show all posts

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Duterte signed “Free Tuition Fee law” for all State Universities and Colleges- ₱100 billion Budget

“Free Tuition Fee law”  in the Philippines
[Free Tertiary Education] Free Tuition fee law in the Philippines

Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Law for bottom 20% poor but deserving Filipino students

- Free tuition fee for all state colleges and universities
- Free Library access
- Free  ID
- Free laboratory access

President Duterte has signed into law the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which grants free tuition to all state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country.

This despite the suggestion of a veto by Budget Secretary Ben Diokno as the government cannot afford to shoulder its cost estimated to be around ₱100 billion.

During the Mindanao Hour press briefing Friday morning, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the President signed the bill Thursday night.

“The enrolled bill came to the Office of the President nearly 30 days ago and during that period, there had been a lot of discussions and study about the bill because of its heavy budgetary implication” he explained.

Guevarra said that free tertiary education in SUCs is a very strong pillar or cornerstone of Duterte’s social development policy and that the President was still trying to figure out the best possible solution regarding the bill.

“So we weighed everything and came to the conclusion that the long-term benefits that will be derived from a well-developed tertiary education on the part of the citizenry will definitely outweigh any short-term budgetary challenges,” he said.

The Palace official also said that whether or not economic managers are for the passing of the bill, the more important thing now is to find the budgetary allocation for the program.

“Everyone, including the economic managers, will have to focus their attention on funding for this program because this will have to be implemented soon,” Guevarra said, adding that the SUC law will be implemented on the next school year.

Since the government has already submitted the proposed 2018 national budget to Congress, Guevarra said that certain adjustments can still be made so allocation for the law can be made.

“That is really the principal responsibility of Congress when they deliberate on the budget. Right now, I have nothing very specific to say about which projects or which programs or which agency’s proposed budget might be affected,” he said.

“If Congress is really serious in finding the appropriate funding for this free tuition program, they will have to find the necessary sources for this particular program,” he added.

Guevarra also addressed the estimate of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) that ₱ 100 billion would be needed to implement the SUC law.

“The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) thinks otherwise. The ₱ 100-billion estimate of the DBM seems to be on the very high side because that is on the basis on the assumption that all aspects of the free tuition bill will be implemented all at the same time,” he said.

The CHED estimated that ₱ 34.1 billion would be needed for the implementation of the law.

According to Guevarra, the government would only have to spend on the mandatory provisions of the bill which includes tuition and miscellaneous fees which would need around ₱ 16 billion.

Education System in the Philippines
Diagram of educational system in the Philippines - wes.org

The related educational expenses like books and boarding would be shouldered for “deserving 20 percent” by the CHED’s Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) program.

“As far as I know those are the only mandatory provisions of the bill for now – the free tuition and other fees. Other fees would refer to something like library fees, ID fees, laboratory fees, and stuff like that,” Guevarra explained.

“Now as to the subsidy for related educational expenses, that is something to be processed by the UniFAST board which is supposed to have a system of priority,” he said, adding that the fund and system under the UniFAST are yet to be established.

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Grade scaling for the educational system in the Philippines vs USA Education System - wes.org

“In other words, ‘yung mga talagang nangangailangan, the bottom 20 percent, will be prioritized in terms of subsidy for educational-related expenses,” he added.

The UniFAST rationalizes the allocation, utilization and client-targeting of government resources and improves access to quality higher and technical education for those who need it.

It also serves as the ultimate national human resource development mechanism and strategy that will direct beneficiaries to priority courses needed for economic growth and development. - By Argyll Cyrus Geducos from Manila Bulletin

Friday, May 5, 2017

UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard Speeh Makes her Incompetent for Concluding Philippines War on Drug based on hearsay

UN Rapporteur Agnes Callamard Acting as Big Bully in the Philippines

Callamard acting as local Opposition Political Party leader in the Philippines

United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard’s early Friday Wikipedia information described her as highly paid consultant of the Philippines' opposition “Liberal Party” as she concluded her speeches without proper investigation but just taken the reports that were provided most from the liberal party groups who opposes the war on drugs in the Philippines.

Invited by the government to investigate the issue on EJK last September 2016 but refused to come and instead make a surprise visit to the Philippines to utter her conclusion against the Philippines War on Drugs without conducting a ground investigation to confirm the allegations.

Callarmard surprise visit to the Philippines is acting like a leader of the local political party to destroy the image of Duterte based on hearsays.

Malacanang on Calamard Surprise Visit

United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard is now in no position to launch an independent study on the spate of drug-related killings in the country after she talked against the war on drugs at a forum in Quezon City, a Malacañang official said on Friday.

Chief presidential legal counsel Sec. Salvador Panelo told reporters Friday that Callamard already made a conclusion based on news reports, some videos, opinions of critics, and hearsays.

“First, how did she know that that’s the way the drug operations are being conducted? What’s the basis?” Panelo said.

“She just cannot come here and read newspaper reports and hear the talks of some critics and watch some videos and make a conclusion that there is something wrong the way this government is doing its job,” he added.

Panelo said that how Callamard arrived at her conclusion was more important than the circumstances of her visit in the Philippines—whether it was on her own or through an invitation.

“What I’m questioning is the basis of her conclusion, which is based on hearsay and some reports coming from whoever and from wherever. It’s not an independent study. It’s not an objective study. It’s just a conclusion on the basis of things that she heard,” Panelo said.

But Panelo indicated that the Philippine government’s invitation to Callamard was already pointless when she already made her mind on the war on drugs.

“Alangan naman pilitin siya kung ayaw niya eh. Not only that, you know, the fact alone that she already made conclusions, I don’t think she would be competent enough or objective enough to undertake any study. She already made a conclusion, on the basis of hearsay and reports and whatever,” Panelo said.

“She was saying she read reports, she saw some videos, and on the basis of that, she made a conclusion that the operation against the drug menace in this country is wrong. How can she make that kind of conclusion when she only read the reports of some people and saw some videos?" he added.

"She has to make an independent probe or investigation on what’s happening in this country. This is precisely why the President invited her to come over. But she never responded to that," Panelo said.

While Callamard earlier said that the terms the Philippine government presented for her visit were against their Code of Conduct, Panelo said it was only fair that President Rodrigo Duterte would be able to question her conclusion.

"What the President just wanted to say after the investigation is, ‘Tell us, what’s the basis of your investigation?’ What’s wrong with asking someone making an investigation, ‘This is our conclusion.’ Then the President, ‘How did you make that conclusion? Who are the people you asked? How did you come about?’" Panelo said.

"I don’t think that’s unfair. That’s a very fair response from someone who has been investigated," he added.

International Court of Justice (ICC) whom claimed to have the authority for extrajudicial killings cases around the world has been labeled as International Caucasian Justice by the African nations for its failure to file cases on Western and European countries that committed thousands extrajudicial killings while acting as superior in issuing verdicts to the African countries as mass murderer in a form of bullying  the small and poor countries.

Several African nations have left and vacated their seats at the United Nations for distrust and integrity issues of the UN for its unfair and selective justice in issuing verdicts.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Russia Warship in the Philippines for Joint Exercise; Draft for Defense Agreement for Duterte Visit may 25

Dream Meaning OF WEARING BLUE OR PURPLE
Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia First Joint Exercise

Russian Warship arrived in the Philippines on Thursday for joint exercises as part of a drive for new security ties under President Rodrigo Duterte's revamped foreign policy of courting the traditional foes of Manila's top ally, Washington.

The guided-missile cruiser Varyag, accompanied by the fuel tanker ship, Pechenge, are on a four-day goodwill visit to the Philippines, the second port call by Russian warships in three months.

The move is part of what Duterte describes as a pursuit of a constitutionally mandated "independent foreign policy". He has made no secret of his grudge against the United States and has made befriending Russia and China the priority of his diversification drive.

Captain Lued Lincuna, director of the Philippine navy's public affairs, said the Philippines hoped to learn from the Russians during training activities and a demonstration of advanced equipment and weapons systems.

The schedule includes training and sports activities with the flagship vessel of the Russian Pacific fleet, plus a Russian concert in a park.

Video: Naval Group of Russia's Pacific Fleet Makes Port Call in Philippines' Manila for 4 days- First Joint Excercise

Philippines – Russia Defense Agreement

Russian commander Captain Alexsei Ulyanenko said the port call would make a "significant contribution" to strengthening relations and maintaining stability in the region.

Moscow wants to help Manila combat extremism and piracy, stepping up cooperation and training in areas where the Philippines has traditionally worked closely with its former colonial master the United States.

The relationship is expected to develop further next month when Duterte and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witness the signing of defense agreements in Moscow.

When Duterte met Putin for the first time last year, the Philippine leader spoke at length about what he called U.S. "hypocrisy".

Duterte has instructed his defense minister to look into how the Philippines could acquire modern military equipment from Russia, like drones, night-vision gear, sniper rifles, and even helicopters.

Duterte to visit Russia on May 25

President Rodrigo Duterte will be visiting Russia on May 25.

During his speech at the induction of newly elected officers of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Duterte said Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command chief Army Major General Oscar Lactao will be joining him.

"So I'm going there with Lactao, May 25," Duterte said. "[Sabi ko sa kanya,] Maganda rin ang mga Russian. Iyon lang man ang puntahan mo. Usap kami ni Putin."

[Translation: I told Lactao, "Russians are also beautiful. At least go with me for that." Putin and I will talk.]

He also reiterated Russia's commitment to helping the Philippines.

"Sabi pa ng Russia [said], "We will have everything you need, just come here,"" he added.

Improved Philippine-Russian relations

Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev told CNN Philippines' "The Source" in January that Duterte's visit to Russia is a "milestone" in the ties between the two nations.

"Both the Russian and Philippine side, we need to prepare substantial and solid package of bilateral agreements on cooperation in different fields, and we are now taking necessary efforts," Khovaev said.

He also said Russian companies are willing to explore Philippine markets. He urged Philippine companies to reciprocate and explore the Russian market as well.

"We are ready to cooperate in industries of transport, energy… including the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, telecommunications, agriculture, and many other fields. Both sides have a lot to offer," Khovaev said.

Economic, military agreements in the works

Economic ties between Manila and Moscow are at their infancy.

Russia has not had any foreign direct investment in the Philippines since 1999, central bank data showed.

Russia accounted for $43 million (around ₱2.17 billion) in overseas remittances last year, but it was only 0.2 percent of the total $26.9 billion (around ₱1.35 trillion) sent home by Filipinos from all over the world.

In addition, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Russia committed to importing up to $2.5 billion (around ₱126 billion) worth of Philippine fruits, grains and vegetables in 2017.

Imports by Russia from the Philippines stand at $46 million (around ₱2.32 billion), according to government trade statistics.

Beyond economic links, the Philippines is also eyeing military cooperation with Russia. Defense officials have said they were looking into possible joint exercises and weapons deals with the Kremlin.

Building trust

In addition, Khovaev said he is optimistic that Filipinos would trust Russia more as the two countries build bridges.

"It's time for Filipinos to discover Russia, and vice-versa… and I have a strong belief, we'll trust each other." he said.

In a non-commissioned survey released by Pulse Asia on January 12, 38 percent of Filipinos trust Russia, while 58 percent do not.

These figures are far behind that of the United States, which has a 76 percent trust rating.

"It's a good result if we take into account so many decades of Hollywood-style Russian propaganda in your country," he said, in apparent reference to prevailing perceptions of Russia as "communist" when it was formerly known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The Philippines has long been known as an ally of the U.S., even after it was colonized by the superpower from 1898 to 1946..With reports from Channel News Asia and CNN Philippines

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Duterte Ordered Military Plant Flags in 10 Islands, Upgrade runway in Spratly, rename Benham to RIDGE

Duterte Ordered Military Plant Flags in 10 Islands, Upgrade runway in Spratly
Spratly Islands in the West Philippines Sea, Province of Palawan

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to occupy and fortify all Philippine-held islands in the West Philippine Sea (South  China Sea)  to assert the country’s claims amid what he says is a race to control territory in the area.

“We tried to be friends with everybody but we have to maintain our jurisdiction now, at least the areas under our control,” he said during a visit to a military camp in western Palawan province.

Duterte said he has ordered the armed forces to occupy and place Philippine flags on all islands, reefs and shoals controlled by the Philippines.

“There are about nine or 10 islands there, we have to fortify,” he said. “I must build bunkers there or houses and provisions for habitation.”

Duterte said he may visit one of the islands, Pag-asa, to plant a Philippine flag on Independence Day. He said money has been budgeted to repair the runway on Pag-asa, home to a small fishing community and Filipino troops.

Since taking office in June, Duterte has worked to mend ties with China that were strained under his predecessor over the territorial disputes.

President Duterte, who on the campaign trail joked that would jet ski to a Chinese man-made island in the South China Sea to reinforce Manila's claim, said he may visit a Philippine-controlled island to raise the national flag.

Duterte's plan is unlikely to sit well with China, which lays claim to almost all the South China Sea, despite a fast-warming relationship between the two sides in recent months.

The Philippines occupies nine "features", or islands and reefs, in the South China Sea, including a World War II-vintage transport ship which ran aground on Second Thomas Shoal in the late 1990s.

Duterte told reporters he would visit the island of Thitu, the largest of the Philippine-controlled Spratly Islands, and build a barracks for servicemen operating in the area.

"In the coming Independence Day, I may go to Pagasa island to raise the flag there," Duterte told reporters, using the local name for Thitu.

The Philippines marks 119th year of independence from more than three centuries of Spanish rule on June 12.

Thitu is close to Subi Reef, one of seven man-made islands in the Spratlys that China is accused of militarising with surface-to-air missiles, among other armaments.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims in the strategic waters.

Duterte's comment made at a military base on Palawan island, near the disputed waters, came two days after Manila's acting foreign minister said China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had made progress on a framework for a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States in October, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

His efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea, marks an astonishing reversal in foreign policy since he took office on June 30.

Last month, Defence Minister Delfin Lorenzana said the military would strengthen its facilities in the Spratlys, building a new port, paving an existing rough airstrip and repairing other structures.

Chinese coast guard vessels prevented a Philippine nationalist group from planting a Filipino flag on a rocky outcrop in another part of the South China Sea in June.

Duterte said last month it was pointless trying to challenge China's fortification of its man-made islands and ridiculed the media for referring to his comment that he would jet ski to one Beijing's reclaimed reefs.

"We cannot stop them because they are building it with their mind fixed that they own the place. China will go to war," he said. "People want me to jet ski. These fools believed me."

An impeachment complaint has been filed against him that cites, among other things, his alleged failure to protest China’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea.

Rival claimants, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have expressed alarm over Beijing’s building of artificial islands in the disputed region.

“It looks like there’s a race to grab islands,” Duterte said. “What is ours now, we should get and make a strong point that it is ours.”

Benham Rise to "Philippine Ridge"

President Duterte Renaming
President Duterte Renaming "Benham Rise" to "Philippine Ridge"

Duterte also said that he will rename Benham Rise — a potentially resource-rich undersea region off the country’s northeast coast — the Philippine Ridge.

Benham Rise is on the opposite side of the Philippines from the area at dispute in the South China Sea. The U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf confirmed in 2012 that Benham Rise is part of the extended continental shelf of the Philippines.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said that Chinese survey ships were seen crisscrossing the Benham Rise area last year resulting the Philippines to protest such incident.

China recently said that they respect and recognized the Sovereign Rights of the Philippines over the Benham Rise and is not contesting it.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

2 TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines March 27 To Patrol Maritime Territory

TC-90 Japanese Jet be Transferred to the Philippines
2 of 5 leased Super King Air Beechcraft trainer jet left Japan's Tokushima Air Base Arriving the Philippines March 27

Two of the Five Leased T-C90 Japanese aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy next week in a boost for Manila’s limited capabilities and an indicator of the significance of the bilateral defense relationship.

T-C90 Trainer jet is developed by Beechcraft Super King Air and is comprises of number of twin-turboprop models that have been divided into two families; the Model 90 and 100 series developed in the 1960s are known as King Airs, while the later T-tail Model 200 and 300 series were originally marketed as Super King Airs, with "Super" being dropped by Beechcraft in 1996.

The King Air was the first aircraft in its class and has been in continuous production since 1964. It has outsold all of its turboprop competitors combined. It now faces competition from jet aircraft such as the Embraer Phenom 100, Honda HA-420 HondaJet and Cessna Citation Mustang; as well as from newer turboprop aircraft including the Piaggio P180 Avanti, and single-engine Piper Malibu Meridian, Pilatus PC-12, and Socata TBM.

According to the Japan Ministry of Defense’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency (ATLA), two Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) TC-90 training aircraft will be officially transferred to the Philippine Navy on March 27. In a confirmation on Monday, the agency said that the aircraft would leave on Tokushima Air Base on March 23, with an arrival ceremony to be held at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

It had also come shortly after both sides had inked a landmark defense equipment and technology agreement, which was just the fourth Tokyo had signed with any country. As I have pointed out before, though attention tends to be overly focused on the Philippines’ relationship with its treaty ally, the United States, Japan is another of the key security partners that Manila has been cultivating. Thus far, signs are that this is set to continue under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, despite discontinuities in other dimensions of foreign policy

Philippine officials have publicly admitted that the TC-90s would be a much-needed capability boost for the military, which remains one of Asia’s weakest. The planes have around twice the range of the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the navy uses for patrol, surveillance, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and rapid assessment missions. They are also much faster. The aircraft can also be fitted with additional equipment such as basic surface and air surveillance radar that would make it useful on the South China Sea front.

The TC-90s will be used to augment the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the Navy uses in patrol, surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and rapid assessment missions.

Last November, two Philippine Navy pilots and six air crews left for Japan to start their TC-90 flight training.

The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the Philippines will re-equip the TC-90s as Japan has stripped them of some equipment, including their surveillance systems.

The country will pay Japan $7,000 USD each for the first four aircraft yearly and only $200 USD for the fifth, for total of $28,200 USD as stipulated in its lease agreement.

The 5 TC-90 Beechcraft Super King Air which would be transferred to the Philippines for lease agreement are part of the active 40 TC-90 Trainer Jet in Japan leaving 35 active in the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) asset inventory.

The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90 for 20 years while the military is upgrading its equipment.

The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized Feb. 29 last year.

The TC-90’s patrol range is double that of a small Philippine aircraft, which only has a maximum range of 300 km.

Monday, March 20, 2017

In 18 Century- Europe Invaded China, 21 Century Asks Free Druglords in Philippines: Duterte SO ANGRY on EU's Requests: Give Shabu to Addicts, FREE the Drug Lords Selling Drugs

Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain
Opium War in Asia - Britain invaded China for arresting the druglords from selling Opium drugs, products of Britain. Photo: Nationalinterest.org


The War That Made Asia: How the Opium War Crushed China


European countries First Illegal Drug Trafficking to China led to “The Opium War, China’s Defeat”
In 1839, England went to war with China because it was upset that Chinese officials had shut down its drug trafficking racket and confiscated its dope.

Stating the historical record so plainly is shocking — but it’s true, and the consequences of that act are still being felt today.

The Qing Dynasty, founded by Manchurian clans in 1644, expanded China’s borders to their farthest reach, conquering Tibet, Taiwan and the Uighur Empire. However, the Qing then turned inward and isolationist, refusing to accept Western ambassadors because they were unwilling to proclaim the Qing Dynasty as supreme above their own heads of state.

Foreigners — even on trade ships — were prohibited entry into Chinese territory.

The exception to the rule was in Canton, the southeastern region centered on modern-day Guangdong Province, which adjoins Hong Kong and Macao. Foreigners were allowed to trade in the Thirteen Factories district in the city of Guangzhou, with payments made exclusively in silver.

The British gave the East India Company a monopoly on trade with China, and soon ships based in colonial India were vigorously exchanging silver for tea and porcelain. But the British had a limited supply of silver.

More War, More Opium:


Imperialism was on the upswing by the mid-1800s. France muscled into the treaty port business as well in 1843. The British soon wanted even more concessions from China — unrestricted trade at any port, embassies in Beijing and an end to bans on selling opium in the Chinese mainland.

One tactic the British used to further their influence was registering the ships of Chinese traders they dealt with as British ships.

The pretext for the second Opium War is comical in its absurdity. In October 1856, Chinese authorities seized a former pirate ship, the Arrow, with a Chinese crew and with an expired British registration. The captain told British authorities that the Chinese police had taken down the flag of a British ship.

The British demanded the Chinese governor release the crew. When only nine of the 14 returned, the British began a bombardment of the Chinese forts around Canton and eventually blasted open the city walls…. Read more at Nationalinterest.org


hilippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has described European lawmakers as "crazies" in a salty-tongued rebuttal to criticism of his deadly drug war, while vowing again that all traffickers will be killed. PHOTO: REUTERS


Duterte to EU: Stop meddling in Philippine affairs 


President Rodrigo Duterte once again hit back at the European Union (EU) for meddling with the issues of the Philippines.

"Why are you trying to impose on us?" he said in a speech Sunday at a meeting with the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he was on a two-day official visit.

"Why won't you mind your own business," he added.

Duterte's statements come after the European Parliament on Friday issued a joint resolution calling for the release of Senator Leila De Lima, who was arrested on February 24 on drug charges.

The President also responded to the body's suggestion that the ongoing drug war must go hand-in-hand with measures for prevention and detoxification, including the opening of new rehabilitation centers.

"This EU Parliament, prinopose nila lahat na lang na addicts, bigyan nalang," Duterte said. "Kung shabu, bigyan ng shabu. Kung cocaine, bigyan ka ng cocaine. Magpunta ka lang sa center."

[Translation: This EU Parliament is proposing that we just give drugs to addicts. If they're addicted to shabu, we should give them shabu. If they're addicted to cocaine, we should give them cocaine. They just need to go to the center.]

The government has moved into the second phase of its war on drugs by shifting towards reforming drug dependents by building more rehabilitation centers, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in October 2016.

Duterte and the EU


Duterte has chastised the EU since it criticized the war on drugs he launched in July 2016.

In September 2016, he challenged the United Nations and EU lawyers to come to the Philippines to prove their claims of alleged extrajudicial killings related to the drug war.

The President said he should be given the opportunity to be heard by them.

"In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, matapos nila akong tanungin, tatanungin ko sila. Iisa-isahin ko sila," he said. "Manood kayo. Tignan niyo kung paano ko lampasuhin yang mga yawa na 'yan."

[Translation: In keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, I will ask them. Each one of them. You watch. Watch me discredit those idiots.]

In October 2016, Duterte challenged the United States and the EU to pull out their aid to the Philippines.

"If you think it is high time for you guys to withdraw your assistance, go ahead," he said. "We will not beg for it," Duterte said.

Meanwhile, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said at the ASEAN Economic Ministers' EU Trade Consultations earlier this month that the Philippines's human-rights record — from the war on drugs to the proposed reimposition of the death penalty — could be a sticking point in free-trade agreements between Philippines and the EU.

"The European Parliament and member-states have some concerns about this development," she said."We are discussing this with our partners in the Philippines."

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said if the EU doesn't budge on its allegations of alleged extrajudicial killings, the Philippines would not be swayed by conditions imposed on it by international bodies.

"If this drug war, the death penalty, are the best ways to respond to criminality, then that is what we must pursue," Lopez said. - With reports from The National Interest and CNN Philippines

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Shabu Pushers Shows up Again in the streets of Manila "Yelling like Selling Balot" Weeks after TOKHANG Stopped, -VOA

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A drug user inhales "shabu," or methamphetamine, at a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

Philippines Meth Trade Out of the Shadows Again

VOICE OF AMERICA (VOA): MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs had until three weeks ago driven the trade in crystal methamphetamine underground, according to residents and drug users in some of the slum areas of the nation’s capital city.

As thousands of users and dealers were shot dead by police and vigilantes in the first seven months after Duterte came to power last June, open dealing in the drug, known here by its street name shabu, largely stopped. Instead, deals were done on the quiet between people who knew each other, maybe with a text message first.

But since Duterte ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to stand down from the drugs war last month, after declaring the force “rotten to the core,” the drugs trade has come back out of the shadows, more than half a dozen drug users and dealers in some of Manila’s toughest areas said in interviews. Many spoke on condition that only their first names be used in this story.

‘How much are you going to buy?’

Beside one of the less-used railroad tracks in Manila, a grassy area scattered with human excrement only a few miles from the gleaming high-rises of the Makati business district, shabu was easily available last week, costing just a few pesos (cents) per hit.

Residents said that when they traveled on the illegal trolleys that ferry people for a few pesos along the track when there are no trains in sight, a fellow passenger will often offer them a sachet of the drug.

Eusebio, 52, who pushes a wood and bamboo trolley on the track for a living, said dealers sometimes walk alongside calling out: “How much are you going to buy?”

“Now that the operations have been suspended, drugs have become rampant again,” he said. “Those who were hiding have resurfaced.”

Another trolley-pusher, Boyser, 59, told two Reuters journalists: “If you weren’t reporters, they would offer you drugs.”

‘Users are still users’
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A sachet of "shabu," or methamphetamine, is pictured between lamps inside a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

In a dark cinderblock room that serves as a drug den in another part of Manila, there were similar stories from users.

“We have more freedom now,” Jason, a 39-year-old bartender told a visiting reporter as he inhaled shabu smoke. “All the users are still users, except those who have been killed,” he said, adding that he has used shabu for almost two decades.

More than 8,000 people have been killed since Duterte was sworn in almost eight months ago, about 2,500 of whom were killed in official police anti-narcotics operations. Human rights groups believe many of the others were extra-judicial executions committed as part of the war on drugs, and in cooperation with the police, a claim the Duterte administration has vehemently denied.

The president’s office did not respond to a list of emailed questions about the drug war and whether dealers were now openly back on the streets.

Duterte has repeatedly said he will hunt down drug lords and other “high value” targets and there have been a handful of large-scale seizures and raids on shabu laboratories.

But most of those killed in the war on drugs have been small-time dealers and users in some of the country’s poorest neighborhoods.

The PNP stopped publishing an official tally of drug war killings from police operations on January 31 when Duterte ordered the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to take over the campaign.

Fewer killings

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Filipino men place their hands over their heads as they are rounded up during a police operation as part of the continuing "War on Drugs" campaign of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, Philippines. Photo: VOA File

According to reporters and photographers from Reuters and Philippine news organizations working the night shift, “vigilante-style” killings of drug suspects have continued, but at a much slower pace. Police data shows 398 people were killed nationwide in the first 20 days of February.

Details of the killings were not provided and it was unclear how many were drug-related.

Some anti-narcotics experts say they would not be surprised if it turns out that the drug war has been ineffective. They say that ruthless operations against drugs, like Duterte’s, have failed elsewhere in the world.

When an aggressive anti-drugs campaign begins, supplies may be tight for a while, street prices may spike, but ultimately drug usage does not drop, say those who have studied the results.

“We don’t know of any examples from around the world where very hard-line approaches have worked effectively,” said Jeremy Douglas, the regional representative for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “They can temporarily disrupt street business, but they don’t disrupt demand.”

Lost momentum

Some police officers told Reuters that they had received reports of increased street-level drug activity since they were ordered to stand down.

Manila Police Commander Olivia Sagaysay, who oversees four precincts in the city, said the war on drugs had lost momentum and morale among her officers had suffered since they were ordered to stand down.

“It’s depressing,” she said. “But who are we not to follow the higher-ups?”

She said she expected the trade to increase but maybe not return to its previous levels because “networks were disrupted” and “pushers were killed.”
In a written response to questions from Reuters about the impact of Duterte’s campaign on the street-level shabu trade, the PDEA said that “based on reports gathered, the supply of illegal drugs in some areas are still considerably abundant.”

The PDEA attributed low street prices for shabu — prices overall have risen only minimally since the war on drugs began and in some areas have fallen — to a “lack of customers” or drug traffickers trying to get rid of their supply “in order to avoid arrest.” It said drugs were being hoarded and that it was difficult for users to transact directly with traffickers. The PDEA did not provide evidence for any of its assessments.

PNP spokesman Dionardo Carlos said drugs would return to the streets because it was “a billion peso business” and “money talks.”

In his view, though, the drug war had not failed.

“We hit the target and now it goes back to PDEA. As far as the PNP is concerned we did our part in the past seven months. I hope PDEA will be able to do their part,” he said.

The PDEA has just about 1,800 people compared with the national police force of 160,000. Of the existing PDEA personnel, only about half are field operatives.

PDEA spokesman Derrick Carreon said his agency will add staff and that the president would soon be issuing an executive order to set up an anti-illegal drugs inter-agency council and task force that would also draw from the military, the National Bureau of Investigation and the PNP. The task force will be charged with pursuing the war on drugs.

“There is a temporary vacuum of warm bodies but it won’t be long,” Carreon said, adding that those involved in the drug trade would be wrong to think they were safe.

“If that’s their perception, it won’t last long,” he said. “They will find out in the hardest way that they are terribly wrong.”
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A drug user inhales "shabu," or methamphetamine, at a drug den in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 13, 2017. Photo: VOA

‘Go after cookers’

Still, Jason, the bartender who is a shabu user, said Duterte’s campaign was not successful because he targeted the wrong people.

If authorities had gone after the “cookers,” the people manufacturing the drugs, instead of users and small dealers, people like him would be unable to buy and would move on. As it is, Jason said, shabu is always in plentiful supply, adding he was addicted and the drug eliminated any fear he may have had of being shot by police or vigilantes.

As he spoke, Jason poured white crystals into a long strip of aluminum foil folded into a trough, tilted it slightly and held a flame below. Almost immediately, it produced a thick white smoke, which he sucked up through a narrow aluminum foil straw.

He then began speaking again, more animatedly. “I buy drugs every day!” he said. - Voice of America 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Senator Leila de Lima Arrested for Accusation of Orchestrating a Drug-trafficking ring for 5 years During her Term as Justice Minister

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Senator Leila de Lima with her political party supporters inside her office before the arrest  

Senator Leila de Lima Arrested for Accusation of Orchestrating a drug-trafficking ring for 5 years

Senator Leila de Lima a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has been arrested by law enforcement agents after charges were filed in court alleging that she received money from drug dealers inside the Bilibid, the country's largest prisoner’s compound.

Senator Leila de Lima is accused of orchestrating a drug-trafficking ring when she was justice secretary during the 2010-2015 administration of Benigno Aquino.

"The truth will come out and I will achieve justice. I am innocent," she told reporters shortly before law enforcers escorted her away from her office on Friday.

De Lima, her former driver. lover and bodyguard and a former national prison official were ordered to be arrested by a local court on Thursday after a judge found merit in criminal charges filed by the Department of Justice last week.

De Lima has denied the charges, calling herself a victim of political persecution and saying that she has long prepared herself to be the first "political prisoner" under the Duterte administration.

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Senator Leila de Lima Arrested and heading the Police office with police escort 

"While the issuance of the warrant of arrest is questionable, I do not have any plans to evade it," she said, calling the order premature as the court has yet to hear the response from her lawyers.

She slept in her Senate office overnight then gave herself up to armed officers in flak jackets who put her in a van and drove into morning rush-hour traffic apparently towards police headquarters.

Duterte, 71, won a presidential election last year after promising during the campaign to eradicate drugs in society by killing tens of thousands of people.

Since his inauguration on June 30, an anti-drug drive has seen more than 7,000 people killed over suspected drug links - with about 60 percent of the deaths carried out by unknown assassins.

De Lima has previously called for foreign intervention to put an end to the "state-inspired" extrajudicial murders, which she said have been instigated by Duterte since his election to power.

De Lima also led a series of Senate investigations over allegations that police officers were involved in the killings, and that hired killers were operating under orders from police.

Aries Arugay, associate professor of political science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, told Al Jazeera that the senator will use her detention to highlight the president's controversial policies.  

"Senator de Lima has been taunting the Duterte administration to arrest her for months. She boldly says she is its fiercest critic … What is happening right now is she is really using this as her platform for her own politics," Aurgay said.

'Shame on you'
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Senator Leila de Lima  taking her mugshot at the police office

Meanwhile, De Lima's detractors were jubilant over the news of her arrest.

Blogger and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board Member Mocha Uson, who is a "diehard" supporter of Duterte, said once the charges are proven, no one will stand with De Lima.

Meanwhile, political analyst and fervent Duterte supporter Sass Sasot, criticized De Lima for her rancorous reaction to the arrest warrant. I miss the time when Gloria was arrested.

"Naka upo lang si madame, enduring everything, dignity in silence. Itong si Leila kulang na lang bumuga ng apoy."

Finally, former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada — who is currently facing plunder charges filed by then-Justice Secretary De Lima in relation to alleged misuse of his "pork barrel" fund — slammed De Lima for not surrendering directly to authorities.


"We surrendered even before the warrant of arrest was served. We went to Crame immediately. Can't you do the same? Shame on you," Estrada said in a Facebook post. - With report from CNN and Aljazeera

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

President Duterte got 91% HIGHEST TRUST RATING in Country Leader's history - 8% Undicided

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RECORD-HIGH TRUST RATING. President Rodrigo Duterte is trusted by nearly all Filipinos as he begins his term. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

Duterte enjoys record-high 91% trust rating – Pulse Asia

MANILA, Philippines: Nearly all Filipinos trust President Rodrigo Duterte as he embarked on his term, according to the results of a Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated survey released on Wednesday, July 20.

The results of the nationwide survey conducted among 1,200 Filipinos from July 2 to 8, showed that 91% of Filipinos trust Duterte, while less than half a percent distrust him, and 8% are undecided on whether or not to trust him.

“President Rodrigo R. Duterte begins his stint as the country’s 16th president with an overwhelming majority of his constituents expressing trust in him (91%) and practically no one distrusting him (0.2%). The rest of Filipinos (8%) cannot say if they trust or distrust President Duterte,” Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes said.

Former president Benigno Aquino III used to hold the record of the highest level of public trust in the Pulse Asia trust survey first conducted in 1999. In a survey held during a similar period in Aquino's term – July 1 to 11, 2010 – Aquino had a trust rating of 85%.

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Data from Pulse Asia Research, Inc

Among geographical locations, Duterte earned the highest trust rating in his bailiwick, Mindanao (97%). Among socioeconomic classes, trust for Duterte is highest among Class D and the poorest Class D, both at 92%.

In a statement, Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte’s 91%-trust rating during his first week in office “is a humbling reminder that the genuine and meaningful change that our people aspire for is now being felt.”

“This expression of confidence, therefore, shall serve as an inspiration to the Duterte administration to continuously make a real difference and make our people’s lives better, safer, and healthier,” Andanar said.

A Pulse Asia survey conducted in early July also shows that a 'sizeable majority' of Filipinos trust Vice President Leni Robredo

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SIZEABLE MAJORITY TRUST. Vice President Leni Robredo enjoys a 62% trust rating in the July 2016 Pulse Asia survey. RAPPLER.com

The survey results also showed that 62% of Filipinos – a “sizeable majority,” according to Holmes – trust the Vice President, while 11% distrust her, and 27% are undecided on whether or not to trust her.

“Most Filipinos – regardless of geographic location and socioeconomic status – say they trust Vice-President Robredo (58% to 72% and 53% to 64%, respectively),” Holmes said.

Among geographical areas, Robredo got her highest trust rating from the Visayas (72%), and among socioeconomic classes, from Class D (64%). Indecision on whether to trust the Vice President is highest in Mindanao (32%) and among the well-off class ABC (35%).

Robredo thanked her countrymen for the overwhelming "vote of confidence."

"We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our fellow Filipinos. From 1% in the pre-election surveys to 35.1% – and now, a trust rating of 62%," she said in a statement.

The survey showed that the primary sentiment toward the Chief Justice is one of indecision, as 42% of Filipinos are undecided on whether or not to trust her. But there are more Filipinos who trust Sereno than distrust her (35% vs 19%).

“Big plurality indecision figures are posted by the Supreme Court Chief Justice in the Visayas (43%) and Class E (46%). On the other hand, the latter receives practically the same trust and indecision ratings in Metro Manila (40% versus 37%), the rest of Luzon (36% versus 46%), Mindanao (38% versus 36%), Class ABC (37% versus 50%), and Class D (38% versus 39%),” Holmes said.

During and immediately before the survey period, among the major news were the oath-taking of Duterte and Robredo, Cabinet appointments including Robredo as housing chief, cases filed against Aquino in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the Mamasapano clash, and the spate of drug-related killings in the country and calls to probe these.

Around this time, Duterte also expressed his willingness to have bilateral talks and joint exploration with China in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Holmes said.

The nationwide survey has a ± 3% error margin at the 95% confidence level; subnational estimates for each of the geographic areas covered in the survey (i.e., Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) have a ± 6% error margin, also at 95% confidence level.

The July survey also polled the respondents on their expectations of the new administration. (READ: Inflation, jobs edge out crime as Filipinos' top worries – poll) – Rappler.com

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